2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 22)

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my weekly Top-30 Fantasy Rankings for Impact Rookies! In this series, I will be going over the top prospects in baseball and discussing which ones figure to have an impact for the rest of this fantasy baseball season.

This is the final Top 30 ranking of the year. Sad. With rosters expanding Friday, all prospects expected to have an impact will be recalled by the end of the week and there will be no more need for this list. But don’t worry, we will keep running out some solid prospect content.

During the month of September, I will work on an article series in which I examine the playing time situations of various prospects in baseball and see who will benefit the most from their respective team’s situations. This should help owners get an idea of how to best maximize some of the promoted prospects.

Editor's note: Our friends at DraftEasy are giving you a FREE shot to win $50. Just pick four correct NFL player matchups and win! Try It Now!

 

Top MLB Prospects - Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely going to rise to the major leagues and provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2016, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this power rankings list and replaced.

 

1. Franklin Barreto (SS, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 494 PA, ..287/.332/.457, 15 HR, 14 SB, 4.7% BB rate, 28.1% K rate
You may have had a nice August, but you probably haven’t enjoyed August as much as Barreto. The Oakland Athletics’ top prospect has slashed .340/.366/.567, blasted four home runs and stolen seven bases over 102 plate appearances this month. A bit concerning is the fact that he has taken just one walk to 28 strikeouts in the month, but with homers and stolen bases, owners can live with the plate discipline issues. Though those issues will make him somewhat susceptible to streakiness, the power/speed makes him an exciting add worth an own in some 12+ team leagues . . . if he can start to siphon away some playing time.

2. Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT, AAA)
Stats: 87.1 IP, 2.06 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 38.5% K rate, 9.1% BB rate, 10.9% HR/FB, .169 AVG
Glasnow has been remarkable all season at Triple-A. I mean, really remarkable. Of his 14 starts, only three starts are not quality starts. And those are all only because he failed to get out of the sixth inning in those outings. He also has struck out at least seven in all but one start (that one outing had six strikeouts). His control has noticeably improved in the minors as well, as evidenced by the reasonable 9.1 percent. Now that he’s pitching out of the stretch, he has been far more effective on the bump and may be able to start reaching that lofty ceiling of his. If he is able to snag a few starts in September — he certainly deserves to — then he could be a high ceiling starter in 12+ team leagues.

3. Brent Honeywell (SP, TB, AAA)
Stats: 131.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 30.5% K rate, 6.4% BB rate, 10.8% HR/FB, .255 AVG
Fans have long been hoping Honeywell would be promoted, and evidently they are not alone. Honeywell expressed his displeasure with the team’s decision to not call him up to the big leagues, and as a consequence for his complaints, he was suspended four games. Conveniently, he always has four games in between starts so it’s possible it was more of a statement than an actual suspension. It is unknown at this point if this will affect his chances of being promoted this season. If he is called up and given a chance to start, he should be a solid add in 12+ team leagues.

4. Brandon Woodruff (SP, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 77.1 IP, 4.31 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 21.3% K rate, 7.8% BB rate, 10.4% HR/FB, .264 AVG
Woodruff probably has as legit of a case as anyone for being the top pitcher, yet here he is at No. 4. He has by far the clearest path to playing time as manager Craig Counsell has already said he will be their fifth starter in the month of September. The biggest reason for Woodruff not being super high is his somewhat lack of upside. He doesn’t have the super high floor and high ceiling of Honeywell nor does he have the sky-high ceiling of Glasnow. But the 2c on this list will be a great option for owners in 12+ team leagues to eat up some innings and rack up a decent number of whiffs along the way.

5. Harrison Bader (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 470 PA, .279/.343/.468, 20 HR, 14 SB, 7.2% BB rate, 24.5% K rate
Bader has seemingly turned a new corner this season in the minors after a rough showing at Triple-A last season. He now has re-established himself as a name to know among prospects and should be given a chance to continue to build on that reputation in the majors in September. Though Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler are likely immovable in the outfield, the remaining position is still without much of an answer thanks to struggles from Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk this season. And with the Cardinals hovering around playoff contention, they could opt to play the explosive prospect in Bader during September to see if he can help provide them with a spark. Bader possesses a solid-enough power/speed combination that owners in some 12+ team leagues could find value for him.

6. Jeimer Candelario (3B, DET, AAA)
Stats: 437 PA, .262/.339/.488, 15 HR, 1 SB, 9.8% BB rate, 23.3% K rate
The Detroit Tigers are heading towards a clear rebuild, and one of the first steps of that rebuild is to start to catch a glimpse of some of their younger talent. That means they are likely going to give their young up-and-coming third baseman Candelario plenty of time to shine in the majors. Though Candelario has not been spectacular in the minors, his bat and prospect status as a highly regarded young player should earn him some looks at the hot corner in September with the team shifting Nick Castellanos to his more natural position of left field. Candelario’s minor league struggles can hardly be dismissed, but the potential is there for a solid middle-of-the-order bat who can contribute some homers and RBIs in the middle of a still potent Detroit lineup.

7. J.P. Crawford (SS, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 521 PA, .239/.350/.393, 13 HR, 5 SB, 14.4% BB rate, 17.9% K rate
Though I have no doubt owners would rather see Scott Kingery’s name here, he is far more likely to be promoted than his double play partner at Lehigh Valley. Crawford has started to hit lately, turning around what had been a dismal season for him at the plate. Now he is taking reps at third base and is expected to push Maikel Franco aside for starting time in the month of September. Though Crawford’s profile does not appear to be the most exciting for fantasy purposes, he is a low-risk bat who should reach base frequently, could run into a bomb every now and again while tacking on an additional stolen base here and there.

8. Brett Phillips (OF, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 425 PA, .309/.381/.574, 19 HR, 9 SB, 10.6% BB rate, 29.2% K rate
Keon Broxton has been treading water in August. He really has done just enough to stay afloat out there in center field. With a .250/.325/.528 slash line, he is not a must-replace for the Milwaukee Brewers, but he certainly is not a must-stay in the lineup either. Phillips meanwhile has been swinging a hot bat in the minors since his demotion, slashing .354/.446/.552 with pair of homers and four stolen bases over 27 games (112 plate appearances). Though he is a strikingly similar profile to Broxton (power/speed, but major swing-and-miss tendencies), Phillips could offer at least a different look in the outfield and a possible platoon option for the right-handed Broxton who is slashing just .221/.292/.435 against righties this season. Phillips possesses a solid power/speed combination and could really provide owners of Broxton a boost, particularly if he does take over that strong-side platoon.

9. Magneuris Sierra (OF, STL, AA)
Stats: 414 PA, .272/.320/.369, 1 HR, 19 SB, 6.0% BB rate, 16.2% K rate
The second Cardinal outfielder listed, Sierra is more about speed than anything else. Though Sierra may not see as much playing time as the more mature Bader, he could be employed in a similar manner to Billy Hamilton back in 2013 for the Cincinnati Reds: as a pinch-runner and occasional spot starter in the outfielder. Sierra has the speed to impact fantasy leagues just with his legs as he is one of the best burners in the minors. Throw in a couple of spot starts atop the lineup and you’ve got a guy who could play an impactful role in some fantasy lineups making the playoff push.

10. Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY, AAA)
Stats: 490 PA, .317/.355/.499, 15 HR, 4 SB, 5.5% BB rate, 13.7% K rate
The placement of Andujar hinges on the idea that he starts on a semi-regular basis against southpaws when he is recalled. He has crushed lefties in the minors this season and seems as solid a bet as any to replicate that success in the majors. And with Chase Headley struggling to bat from the right side this year, Andujar makes for a sensible platoon partner at first base for him. However, there is a chance Andujar is used primarily as a bat off the bench, in which case his value will be severely limited.

11. Willie Calhoun (2B/OF, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 506 PA, .292/.350/.564, 29 HR, 4 SB, 8.3% BB rate, 11.5% K rate
Calhoun has not let the trade to Texas affect his performance. The now-Rangers member has already blasted six homers to accompany a .267/.315/.523 slash line. As always, you will read no questions about the bat here. The only questions asked about Calhoun are where will he play if he reaches the majors. Calhoun is a terrible defender virtually everywhere he plays, including in the outfield. If he sees any playing time in the majors, it will likely be at DH. However, the Rangers have a multitude of options to plug in at DH including Joey Gallo, and finding consistent playing time for Calhoun could be a challenge. His bat will certainly play in the big leagues enough to warrant an add in 12+ team leagues if the Rangers try to fit him into their lineup. But owners have to be wary that that could prove to be quite the challenge.

12. Willy Adames (SS, TB, AAA)
Stats: 541 PA, .272/.361/.409, 9 HR, 10 SB, 11.8% BB rate, 22.2% K rate
Adeiny Hechavarria definitely brought his good glove to Tampa Bay. But perhaps he left the lumber in Miami. Hechavarria has not hit near enough as he should, and though the defense has been nice, it’s probably not solid enough to keep him permanently in the lineup. Meanwhile Adames has impressed a lot of people in Durham this season, and comes with the prospect pedigree needed to force his way into the lineup in September. He is a prospect who could easily come up and start a handful of times a week and finish the last two or three weeks as the regular at shortstop if he runs away with the position.

13. Tom Murphy (C, COL, AAA)
Stats: 146 PA, .239/.295/.410, 4 HR, 0 SB, 6.2% BB rate, 37.9% K rate
Murphy has had his fair share of struggles this season at all levels, but there’s still reason to be excited for a power-hitting catcher playing in the most hitter-friendly stadium in baseball on one of the best-hitting teams in baseball. The question here is playing time. The Colorado Rockies need some help, and Murphy may not be the safest bet for them while Tony Wolters has turned in a solid campaign. If the Rockies decide to give him some playing time, he has the chance to post up some explosive power numbers for fantasy owners. His playing time will be important to monitor once rosters expand as he could be a solid own in 12+ team leagues if he starts half the games in September.

14. Walker Buehler (RP, LAD, AAA)
Stats: 85.2 IP, 3.26 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 35.1% K rate, 8.4% BB rate, 11.1% HR/FB, .206 AVG
Relievers are often over-looked on this list as they’re given short leashes and can often fail in their shorter outings. But most relievers don’t have the stuff Buehler has. He is considered by many to be a consensus top-50 prospect at this point — top-20 in some circles — and is likely going to be promoted in September as a reliever for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His stuff is so good that he probably shouldn’t struggle too much and could be given a chance to eat up multiple innings out of the bullpen with some serious strikeout upside. One bad outing could really spoil the trust given to him, but it would also be somewhat surprising if he really did get kicked around. He could be a solid add in 16+ team leagues.

15. Tom Eshelman (SP, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 143.0 IP, 2.52 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 17.9% K rate, 3.3% BB rate, 8.6% HR/FB, .230 AVG
The Philadelphia Phillies have had the worst pitching staff in the month of August, and it’s starting to appear clear their young rotation is feeling the wear and tear of a long year. Eshelman has not felt that same level of wear and tear, and actually has been quite good this month. After a brutal thrashing on Aug. 4, he has a nice 0.69 ERA and 3.27 FIP over his past 26 innings (four starts). The strikeouts aren’t there for him, as they haven’t been throughout his entire career, but he has walked only two batters over that time span, continuing to impress with his pinpoint control. Should he eat a few starts for the Phillies, he is the type of super low-risk/low-reward owners in deep/NL-only leagues could benefit from him eating up some innings.

16. Mauricio Dubon (SS, MIL, AAA)
Stats: 527 PA, .275/.331/.378, 7 HR, 38 SB, 7.2% BB rate, 14.0% K rate
Dubon has put up some really eye-popping numbers at Double- and Triple-A this season. He has found his power stroke somewhat at Triple-A, already bashing five homers in just 51 games. The career-high total in home runs (seven) and career-high in stolen bases between the two levels has drawn attention to Dubon, and could put him in a position to have some playing time in September. Should he get the call and start stealing some playing time around the infield, Dubon’s speed could make him a valuable asset to owners in some deeper leagues.

17. Ryan McMahon (1B/2B/3B, COL, AAA)
Stats: 507 PA, .350/.396/.572, 19 HR, 11 SB, 7.7% BB rate, 17.8% K rate
McMahon did not last long in the majors, though he seemed to make the most of his time in the majors. The batting average of .222 leaves a little to be desired, but he walked 18.2 percent of the time compared to only a 9.1 percent strikeout rate over four games. This came right after an absolute mockery of both Triple- and Double-A pitchers in which he not only improved his plate discipline, but maintained his well above-average power numbers. And as long as he has some positional versatility, he has an added bit of value. Should he find some playing time in September, he could be a potent bat to add in 14+ team leagues.

18. Franchy Cordero (OF, SD, AAA)
Stats: 383 PA, .311/.354/.580, 16 HR, 15 SB, 5.5% BB rate, 29.2% K rate
Cordero’s plate discipline leaves A LOT to be desired. He has consistently struck out nearly 20 percent more than he has walked throughout his professional career. But what makes him an exciting prospect is his power/speed upside. This season, he has racked up 16 homers and 15 stolen bases, which has been more than enough to whet the appetite of fantasy owners. The San Diego Padres are in no position to be competitive, and so they may opt to give a youngster like Cordero some playing time alongside guys like Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe. The plate discipline makes him a potentially risky asset, but the power/speed combination is exciting enough to at least tempt owners in NL-only/deep leagues.

19. Ronald Acuna (OF, ATL, AAA)
Stats: 575 PA, .324/.373/.527, 20 HR, 41 SB, 7.1% BB rate, 23.8% K rate
I’ve said it on here several times, but I don’t really believe Acuna will be promoted. He is not on the 40-man roster of the Atlanta Braves and it seems they will wait until next year to put him there. But the upside he brings is too high to leave totally off this list. If the Braves were to make the surprise move and add him to the roster, his power/speed combination is really unmatched by anyone on this list and would warrant an add in near all formats as they would not call him up just to sit him on the bench. He would likely be a regular starter if he were to be called up and could make quite the impact. But again, that’s only if he gets called up.

20. Erick Fedde (SP, WAS, AAA)
Stats: 90.1 IP, 3.69 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 21.4% K rate, 6.2% BB rate, 10.1% HR/FB, .238 AVG
Concerns with a lowered velocity have Fedde’s stock dropping a bit this week. With the Washington Nationals still miles ahead of anyone in their division, he seems like a decent option to take a spot start or two to rest some of the taxed arms in that rotation, but he can’t help eat innings if he is hurt. Still, scouts have said that the lowered velocity has not affected the lack of movement on his secondary stuff. If he can keep his offspeed pitches working, he could still be effective. He could be an intriguing streamer option in deep leagues if he manages to grab a few starts before the end of the year.

21. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA)
Stats: 516 PA, .256/.355/.508, 30 HR, 0 SB, 13.0% BB rate, 26.6% K rate

22. Chance Sisco (C, BAL, AAA)
Stats: 381 PA, .270/.336/.399, 7 HR, 2 SB, 7.3% BB rate, 26.0% K rate

23. Nick Gordon (SS, MIN, AA)
Stats: 542 PA, .275/.349/.415, 8 HR, 13 SB, 9.6% BB rate, 22.7% K rate

24. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA)
Stats: 500 PA, .302/.374/.443, 12 HR, 4 SB, 8.8% BB rate, 16.0% K rate

25. Daniel Gossett (SP, OAK, AAA)
Stats: 76.1 IP, 3.66 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 22.1% K rate, 7.5% BB rate, 8.8% HR/FB, .237 AVG

26. Yonny Chirinos (SP, TB, AAA)
Stats: 163.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 21.5% K rate, 4.1% BB rate 11.0% HR/FB, .225 AVG

27. Jack Flaherty (SP, STL, AAA)
Stats: 148.2 IP, 2.18 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 25.3% K rate, 6.0% BB rate, 8.0% HR/FB, .220 AVG

28. Jake Bauers (1B/OF, TB, AAA)
Stats: 539 PA, .265/.368/.419, 13 HR, 16 SB, 13.4% BB rate, 19.7% K rate

29. Scott Kingery (2B/3B, PHI, AAA)
Stats: 567 PA, .305/.357/.543, 26 HR, 28 SB, 6.7% BB rate, 18.2% K rate

30. Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL, AAA)
Stats: 525 PA, .239/.318/.476, 26 HR, 14 SB, 10.1% BB rate, 27.8% K rate

 

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY)

2. Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, LAD)

3. Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, PHI)

4. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS)

5. Rafael Devers (3B, BOS)

6. Paul DeJong (SS, STL)

7. Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE)

8. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC)

9. Yoan Moncada (2B, CWS)

10. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA)

11. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU)

12. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL)

13. Raimel Tapia (OF, COL)

14. Matt Davidson (3B, CWS)

15. Jorge Bonifacio (OF, KC)

16. Jacob Faria (SP, TB)

17. German Marquez (SP, COL)

18. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA)

19. Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT)

20. Manuel Margot (OF, SD)